The Virtual Arts Club

Digital reading club of the Archaeological Museum in Thessaloniki

Dream: Facing the isolation brought on by the pandemic, the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki envisioned keeping the spark of cultural engagement alive by transitioning to the digital realm. Their goal was to sustain and enrich the relationship between the museum and its audience through innovative online events.

Idea: In response to the lockdown, the museum staff initiated a variety of online events designed to captivate both adults and children. This creative pivot included photo contests, digital calligraphy workshops, and virtual book presentations and readings, aimed at fostering a sense of community and continuous learning.

Realization: Through the collective effort of the museum's employees, these online events were brought to life, offering a diverse range of activities that catered to different interests and age groups. This initiative not only maintained but also expanded the museum's reach during a period of unprecedented global challenge.

Challenges and Solutions: The main challenge was quickly adapting to digital platforms and tools without prior experience. The solution came through self-learning and utilizing accessible technology such as email, PowerPoint, and open-source editing software, demonstrating resilience and adaptability.

Innovation: This digital transition showcased the museum's innovative approach to engagement, utilizing simple yet effective tools to create meaningful connections. The shift to digital allowed the museum to explore new forms of interaction and content delivery, setting a precedent for future cultural experiences.

Effect: The online events achieved their primary goal of keeping audiences engaged and connected to the museum's cultural offerings. High participation levels, especially from schools, indicated a successful outreach to both existing friends of the museum and new audiences.

Target Audience: The initiative targeted both loyal visitors and newcomers, with a special focus on engaging children through educational content. The involvement of schools highlighted the project's appeal as a creative learning resource during the pandemic.

Sustainability: The sustainable nature of this practice lies in its online format and minimal financial requirements. Relying solely on the dedication and creativity of the museum's staff, these digital events present a viable model for other institutions to replicate and adapt.

Digital Tools: Embracing basic digital tools and self-taught skills, the museum demonstrated that impactful digital engagement does not necessitate advanced technology or significant resources. This approach underscores the potential for cultural institutions to innovate within their means.

Funding: The initiative was realized without additional financial resources, relying entirely on the museum staff's commitment and creativity. This efficient use of existing resources exemplifies how cultural engagement can be sustained and expanded even in challenging times.

Future: The success of these online events during the pandemic has paved the way for the museum to continue exploring digital avenues for engagement. This experience has not only broadened the museum's outreach but also enriched its capability to connect with audiences in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Responsibile institution: Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki
Good practice link:
Address: Manoli Andronikou 6, Thessaloniki, Greece
Contact person on good practice: Angeliki Moneda,